James McCarthy (Grenville 40) War Office AccreditationExemplary Leadership by Old Stoics

Name: James Russell McCarthy

DOB: 4 March 1922

Medal Award: Military Cross from his activities at the Battle of Monte Cassino, Italy

Date of Accreditation: 15 May 1944 (aged 23)

Unit: 4/16 Punjab Regiment (part of the 8th Army)


David McCarthy (Grenville 67) kindly sent a War Office Accreditation for his father, Captain James McCarthy (Grenville 40), for the Old Stoic Archives. The papers show that James displayed extraordinary powers of leadership whilst being exposed to horrendous conditions. His story is both motivational and inspiring.

Quotes from the Accreditation

  • Captain McCarthy’s force had to be withdrawn but he refused to come back until he had made certain that all his wounded had been safely evacuated
  • Captain McCarthy was given the option of withdrawing his force to safety but cheerfully refused to do so, as he feared that valuable ground might be lost through enemy infiltration
  • Weather conditions were at their worst with sleet and a cold wind
  • His force was a thorn in the flesh of the main enemy positions and he caused continual concern and casualties to the enemy forces confronting him by skilful use of the weapons at his disposal
  • Casualties in his small force were heavy and soon it was reduced to half its number. It was under these circumstances that this young leader was at his best. He was constantly amongst his men cheering them and alleviating their hardships. All casualties received his personal attention
  • Captain McCarthy crawled to the house a distance of 400 yards under accurate Spandau fire and extricated one body from the debris
  • This period of operations has proved this officer to possess extraordinary powers of leadership. By his personality, he has inculcated in his troops a devotion to duty that is inestimable
  • His complete disregard of danger and his skilful handling of his men has, at all times, constituted a direct challenge to a cunning and determined enemy

This War Office Accreditation shows the bravery of Captain James McCarthy. Only too often we miss out on such untold stories about the bravery and good deeds of Old Stoics. It is our intention to encourage you to submit similar stories so we can add to our archives and use the information to inspire future generations of Old Stoics.

Please email submissions to oldstoic@stowe.co.uk

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